NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Poisson-Guassian Processes and the Bond Markets

Sanjiv R. Das

NBER Working Paper No. 6631
Issued in July 1998
NBER Program(s):   AP

That interest rates move in a discontinuous manner is no surprise to participants in the bond markets. This paper proposes and estimates a class of Poisson-Gaussian processes that allow for jumps in interest rates. Estimation is undertaken using exact continuous-time and discrete-time estimators. Analytical derivations of the characteristic functions, moments and density functions of jump-diffusion stochastic process are developed and employed in empirical estimation. These derivations are general enough to accommodate any jump distribution. We find that jump processes capture empirical features of the data which would not be captured by diffusion models. The models in the paper enable an assessment of the impact of Fed activity and day-of-week effects on the stochastic process for interest rates. There is strong evidence that existing diffusion models would be well-enhanced by jump processes.

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